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J Biochem Mol Biol. 2002 Jan 31;35(1):67-86.

Cellular and molecular pathways of ischemic neuronal death.

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Center for the Interventional Therapy of Stroke and Alzheimers Disease, Department of Pharmacology, Ajou University School of Medicine, San 5, Wonchondong, Paldalgu, Suwon, Kyungkido 442-749, South Korea.


Three routes have been identified triggering neuronal death under physiological and pathological conditions. Excess activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors cause influx and accumulation of Ca2+ and Na+ that result in rapid swelling and subsequent neuronal death within a few hours. The second route is caused by oxidative stress due to accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Apoptosis or programmed cell death that often occurs during developmental process has been coined as additional route to pathological neuronal death in the mature nervous system. Evidence is being accumulated that excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and apoptosis propagate through distinctive and mutually exclusive signal transduction pathway and contribute to neuronal loss following hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Thus, the therapeutic intervention of hypoxic-ischemic neuronal injury should be aimed to prevent excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in a concerted way.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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